Look Who’s Back (Er Ist Wieder Da) is a 2015 German satire film directed by David Wnendt. This is based on Timur Vermes’ novel of the same title. The German title is literally translated as “He’s back again”.
The movie runs on the premise “what if Adolf Hitler is alive today and discovers a new democratic Germany?” It opens with Adolf Hitler consulting an etiquette coach. He complains that no one is greeting him “Heil Hitler!” anymore. The etiquette coach replies that the greeting has been out of fashion for decades. However, this scene just provides a glimpse of a confused Hitler on today’s German society.
The story begins with Hitler, played by Oliver Masucci, waking up one October morning in a park where his bunker (also the place where he died) used to be located. Not far from the site, Fabian Sawatzki, a filmmaker working for a TV network, is shooting a documentary.
Hitler walks around the city as he tries to locate the Reich’s Chancellery. Everyone he meets assume that he’s an impersonator. People laugh, some take a selfie with him, and probably say to themselves, “Look who’s back!” Hitler ends up in a newspaper stand where he fainted upon discovering that the day is October 2014, 70 years after World War II.
Meanwhile, Fabian is fired from the TV network due to budget cuts. While watching his latest work, Fabian notices Adolf Hitler in the background. He immediately gets an idea and starts to look for Hitler to make a documentary that would bring his job back.
So Fabian and Hitler meet at the newspaper stand. Fabian presents his idea to film Hitler around Germany to be uploaded on YouTube. Hitler agrees.
With more than a million views on YouTube, Fabian returns to the TV network and tries to pitch his idea, tagging Hitler along. The TV executives see Hitler and are in awe of his character. They decide to make him guest in an ongoing comedy show.
As Hitler appears on the show, he talks to the audience about his Nazi perspective in today’s Germany. The people are amazed and becomes an overnight TV sensation.
The film draws a thin line between reality and fiction because some parts of the film are unscripted vignettes of actor Oliver Masucci interacting with ordinary Germans while in character. People, in turn, respond to this fictional Adolf Hitler by expressing their opinions on issues Germany is currently facing.
It gives me the sense of mockumentary that follows a fictional storyline. Yet, it provokes to ask the same question in the premise, “What if Hitler is alive today?” Based from the opinions of the people interviewed, some of them still have the racist sentiments while others embrace democracy. 70 years after the war, people still have the same pride and prejudices.
I would rate this film 4 out of 5 stars because I felt there are some parts that are dragging. Other than that, I love this film and saved it on my playlist on my Netflix account.